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Past Issues

Volume 11, Number 1 - 1st Quarter 2011

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available
 

A Raid on Thelepte

Spitfire pilot Lieutenant Berry Chandler scored a Spitfire pilot Lieutenant Berry Chandler scored a "Probable" during the raid.
Early on the cold winter morning of 15 February 1943, the vital American landing ground at Thelepte in Tunisia was audaciously and successfully attacked by a small number of Luftwaffe fighter aircraft. The Germans carried out the raid to provide support for the major land offensive they had launched on the previous day against the inexperienced American troops holding the Allied defensive line in central Tunisia. The German fighters swooped in unexpectedly at dawn and strafed the landing ground from low-altitude with good effect, but before they could escape at high speed they were intercepted by patrolling United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) Supermarine Spitfires, along with American Bell P-39 Airacobras that were circling the airfield prior to a mission to the front. A brief but eventful combat ensued. Both sides suffered aircraft and personnel losses, but neither side could claim a decisive victory from this encounter.
An in-depth analysis by Andrew Arthy.
 

Air War at the Siege of Malta

RAF Spitfires prepare to launch from the USS Wasp - 1942. RAF Spitfires prepare to launch from the USS Wasp - 1942.
Two extraordinary events eighteen months apart were critical to Britain’s desperate defense of the Mediterranean Island of Malta, her ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier,’ as the island was sometimes called. Britain was fighting to survive the Axis’ ‘Siege of Malta,’ a brutal period of unceasing air raids that began in June, 1940, when Italy declared war on Britain and France. It was a grim time for Malta. Dozens of Italian planes and then hundreds of German and Italian planes, often flying around the clock, tried to pulverize the little island into submission.
The first of the two events became the stuff of legend. It involved three obsolescent British bi-wing Gloster Sea Gladiator fighter planes named ‘Faith’ ‘Hope’, and ‘Charity.’ It is unknown who named the planes, but the naming fitted. and it was these three planes that became the symbol of defiance to the people of Malta.
The second event involved an American aircraft carrier sailing under Presidential orders, which were issued over the direct objections of the U.S. Navy high command. The carrier, the USS Wasp, acting as a ferry boat, played a critical role in the defense of Malta.
Veteran Aviation Historian Herb Kugel tells the story.
 

Intercept Saratoga - A Photo for Fidel Castro.

A McDonnell F-4B Phantom II assigned to VF-103, CVW-3 aboard Sara. A McDonnell F-4B Phantom II assigned to VF-103, CVW-3 aboard Sara.
It was a situation that occurred a thousands of times during the Cold War - a long-range Soviet aircraft intercepts an American aircraft carrier. Fortunately, during these countless missions everything remained relatively calm, and never a shot was fired. Here is the story of one such intercept - as seen from both sides.
This article was complied and submitted by Miquel Vargas-Caba. The first portion – The Soviet Perspective – consists of the personal recollection of Colonel Pavel Burmistrov, and was recorded by Evgheniy Kalinin. It was translated from the Russian by Mr. Vargas-Caba. Mr. Kalinin himself was a Tupolev Tu-95RT – Bear D – pilot in the 392nd ODRAP.
The second portion – The American Perspective – consists of the first person commentary of U. S. Naval Aviator Commander Dean Steele USN (Retired), also compiled by Mr. Vargas-Caba.
 

Help...Im Being Clobbered

An iconic photo of a legendary duo - John Godfrey (left) and Don Gentile. An iconic photo of a legendary duo - John Godfrey (left) and Don Gentile.
Don Gentile was in a pickle; if he tried to climb he would get nailed for sure. All he could do was turn and skid his P-47 around in an effort to keep from presenting an easy target for the 190s. Eventually he shook off one of the FW 190s but the other persisted. With his throttle wide open, Gentile used full rudder deflection, making flat turns that kept him right on the edge of a spin.
“The best I could do with my turns was keep him part way off my tail and give him deflection shots at me. That is, keep my line of flight at an angle to his so that he would have to shoot ahead of me to try and hit me, which is the hardest kind of shooting to do.”
Presently, Gentile flicked over onto his back almost brushing the treetops.
“And when I came out right side up again, there I was where I figured I would be—alongside the Hun and out of the angle of fire of his guns. I found the words for the R/T then, Help! I screamed. Help I’m being clobbered! I wasn’t fooling. I really screamed. I heard some of the boys call down ‘Where are you?’ to me, but I couldn’t take time to look and they never found me.”
Author Troy White relates the tale of what was almost legendary fighter pilot Don Gentile's last mission.